Providing Fresh Foods to the Hungry

by Catherine Haug, June 27, 2011

During the discussion at our very first ESP gathering, we talked about helping needy people in our community by providing fresh food from our gardens to the food bank. Perhaps some of us are already doing this.

But according to the June AARP Bulletin, non-profit groups around the country, have taken this idea further:

Community and National Efforts to help the Hungry

  • Last year, Salem Harvest (Oregon) “rallied some 1,700 volunteers who picked 53,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables on local farms and delivered the produce to more than a dozen food programs. Volunteers also got to keep half their harvests.” (1) From the Salem Harvest website: “We invite you to join us in harvesting unused fruit from our urban backyards, sharing the bounty with families who are hungry, and taking home free produce, grown right here.” (2)
  • Philadelphia Orchard Project (Pennsylvania) volunteers have planted more than 200 fruit trees in 23 city orchards” (1) since their inception. Their mission (from “The Philadelphia Orchard Project plants orchards in the city of Philadelphia that grow healthy food, green spaces and community food security.” (3)
  • A national organization, “, lists 10,000 registered fruit and nut trees nationwide and helps people locate trees closest to them. All fruit picked is free.” (1) Their website allows you to “Find Fruit” (both backyard trees and public trees),  “Share Fruit,” and “Register a Tree.”

What about the Bigfork Community?

We all know there is fresh, local food going to waste, when there are hungry people all around us, especially here in the Flathead where unemployment levels persist at a high level. Lets discuss how we can implement some of the ideas championed in these other communities, right here.


  1. AARP Bulletin, June 2011 issue (not yet available online)

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